Updated: January 20, 2021 10:32 PM
Created: January 20, 2021 09:09 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —As the state continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine for seniors and people living with disabilities, state officials are warning people to be on the lookout for COVID-19 vaccine-related scams.
Registering for the vaccine is free whether it’s done online or by calling the New Mexico Department of Health.
“We are focusing on helping those folks register and specifically folks who are in rural and remote or frontier parts of the state that may have limited access to the internet,” said Samantha Morales, director of senior medicare patrol.
So how do people know if they’re getting a call from the state or a scammer?
“If somebody offers them, you know, I can put you on a list to get the vaccine faster if you pay—that is a scam, right? And so it's important for people to know that. Also, people cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine here in our state of New Mexico as well as other states across the country. There are priority groups,” Morales said.
If someone calls from the state they will identify themselves first and let people know where they got their information from.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is something that is covered by the Medicare program, and so they shouldn't have to pay extra money to receive it,” Morales said.
That means people should never have to give out their financial information to get the vaccine.
“We're never going to ask them for their bank account information. We're never going to ask them for personal information. That really has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccine,” Morales said.
The state also won’t be doing door-to-door to give out the vaccine.
“Beware of providers offering other products treatments or medicines to prevent the virus,” Morales added.
If you think you’ve been contacted by a scammer, call the New Mexico Senior Medical Patrol to report it at 1-800-432-2080.
For more information about reporting scammers, click here.
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